Parks and Rec plans Indian Creek Trail connection

Indian Creek Trail will be improved on this current, primitive path that links Devon Court with the section of trail that runs behind the Columbia Gorge Community College Indian Creek campus. Lori Stirn, director of Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District, expects that work on the trail improvements will begin this spring, pending approval of the City Planning Department.

Ben Mitchell
Indian Creek Trail will be improved on this current, primitive path that links Devon Court with the section of trail that runs behind the Columbia Gorge Community College Indian Creek campus. Lori Stirn, director of Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District, expects that work on the trail improvements will begin this spring, pending approval of the City Planning Department.

Although it’s not exactly the route they were looking for, the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District has applied to the City of Hood River Planning Department to extend a portion of the Indian Creek Trail that lies behind the Columbia Gorge Community College Indian Creek campus.

The extension would be 528 feet long and run from the main footbridge that crosses the creek northwest of the college campus, cut west through a brushy area, and link up with Devon Court and the Avalon neighborhood on the other side.

Lori Stirn, director of Parks and Rec, said her organization has been attempting to extend the trail for the past 14 years through the Campbell property to the southwest of the college and link up with Broken Tee Drive, the Indian Creek Golf Course, and eventually the portion of the trail that runs by Hood River Valley High School, but the attempts have been unsuccessful. Currently, the portion of the trail that runs behind the college meanders along Indian Creek for 0.7 miles before dead-ending at the boundary of the Campbell property.

The new connection is shorter, farther to the north and requires more walking through residential streets before linking up with the portion of the trail near the golf course, but users now have a place to exit to the west as opposed to exiting east to the college or turning around at the dead-end and walking back on the same segment of trail.

“This Devon Court connection, people are already using it,” Stirn noted. “We’re working with the college and adjacent property owners to make it more convenient for people who live there to get to the Heights.

“It’s not a destination trail,” Stirn added. “It’s just for the neighborhood.”

Indeed, a primitive trail has already been hacked through what would have otherwise been an impenetrable blackberry thicket, but it is in need of improvements. After exiting the blackberry bushes, the trail runs through a tiny .13-acre sliver of land that splits two residential properties that lie on the Devon Court cul-de-sac before terminating at the sidewalk.

Stirn said a resident of the neighborhood “who wanted to get through the thick blackberry bushes” contacted Parks and Rec about possibly extending the trail through the .13-acre property. Stirn said Parks and Rec contacted the property owner, Doug Beveridge of Hood River Homes, who was supportive of providing an easement for the trail. CGCC, which owns the other parcel that the extension would run through, is also supportive, according to Stirn.

Currently, Parks and Rec needs to have city planning approve an amendment to its conditional use permit for the trail before the extension can be constructed. Like other portions of the Indian Creek Trail, Stirn said Parks and Rec will likely add a boardwalk over the marshy portions and add a pet waste disposal station to improve the extension.

Stirn said if the amendment is approved, Parks and Rec plans to begin working on the new segment of trail as early as this spring.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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